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Biederman v. Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

June 24, 2015

Arthur Biederman
Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. et al.


ANDRÉ BIROTTE, Jr., District Judge.

Proceedings: [In Chambers] Order GRANTING Motion to Dismiss by Defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A

In December 2014, Plaintiff Arthur Biederman filed the instant action in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, alleging various causes of action in connection with a non-judicial foreclosure proceeding over the real property located at 220 The Village #301, Redondo Beach, California ("Subject Property"). (Dkt. No. 1-3 ("Compl.").) Named Defendants are Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. ("Northwest Trustee"), JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("Chase"), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"), and Washington Mutual Bank, F.A. ("WaMu"). ( Id. ) On May 22, 2015, the Court granted FDIC's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 17.)

Pending before this Court is Chase's motion to dismiss the allegations against Chase. (Dkt. No. 13.) No opposition brief was filed. The Court deems this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L. R. 7-15. The June 29, 2015, hearing is vacated. Having considered the materials submitted, and for the reasons indicated below, the Court GRANTS Chase's motion to dismiss.


A. Plaintiff's Allegations

On or around November 2004, Plaintiff obtained a loan from WaMu for approximately $145, 000 for the purchase of the Subject Property, and the loan was secured by a note and deed of trust against the Subject Property. (Compl., ¶ 15.) Subsequently, there were a series of assignments of the note and deed of trust, including an assignment by FDIC to Chase. ( Id. at ¶¶ 16-20.) In October 2013, Chase substituted Northwest Trustee as trustee for the note and deed of trust, and, following Plaintiff's failure to make his loan payments, Northwest Trustee recorded a Notice of Default and Election to Sell the Subject Property pursuant to the deed of trust. ( Id. at ¶¶ 21-22; See Dkt. No. 14, Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN"), Exhibit 6.[1]) In October 2014, Northwest Trustee recorded a Notice of Trustee's Sale of the Subject Property, with the foreclosure sale scheduled for November 3, 2014. ( Id. at ¶ 25; RJN Exhibit 7.) Plaintiff makes no allegation, one way or another, about whether the foreclosure sale actually took place or whether he ever tendered the debt due under his loan. ( See Compl.)

B. Chase's Acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of WaMU from FDIC

On September 25, 2008, the former Office of Thrift Supervision closed WaMu and appointed the FDIC as receiver of the bank. (Dkt. No. 10-2 ("Grieser Decl."), ¶ 4, Exhibit B.) Pursuant to its authority as receiver, FDIC transferred certain WaMu assets, including Plaintiff's note and deed of trust, to Chase. ( Id. at ¶ 3, Ex. A.)


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 8 requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The statement must provide enough detail to "give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint must also be "plausible on its face, " allowing the Court to "draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. Labels, conclusions, and "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

Under Rule 12, a defendant may move to dismiss a pleading for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When ruling on the motion, "a judge must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). But a court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). While the scope of review is generally limited to the contents of the complaint, a court may consider "documents whose contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the pleading" without converting a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) into a motion for summary judgment. Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 454 (9th Cir. 1994), overruled on other grounds by Galbraith v. Cnty. of Santa Clara, 307 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2002); United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003) ("Even if a document is not attached to a complaint, it may be incorporated by reference into a complaint if the plaintiff refers extensively to the document or the document forms the basis of the plaintiff's claim."). This incorporation doctrine is permitted to prevent plaintiffs "from surviving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion by deliberately omitting references to documents upon which their claims are based." Parrino v. FHP Inc., 146 F.3d 699, 706 (9th Cir. 1998) superseded by statute on other grounds as recognized in Abrego Abrego v. The Dow Chem. Co., 443 F.3d 676, 681 (9th Cir. 2006).


A. Plaintiff's First Claim for ...

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